Sunday, February 21, 2016

In politics, be aware of unthreatening threats

When I started clearing some of the clutter on my desk, I happened to find an old New York Times clipping from last September.  Its should be an alert to anyone who is unaware of the  ephemeral day-to-day existence of presidential politics.

The story began:

"The best way to see the threat that Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor,  poses to Jeb Bush in the Republican presidential race is to  look at Mr. Walker's donors"

It went on to  cite the big conservative donors, from casino giant Sheldon Adelson to Richard DeVos, the Amway co-founder , who were lined up behind Walker.

 Since the story of the GOP's two powerful contenders appeared, one a "threat"  to the other, Walker dropped out  and Jeb!,  staggering with no sign of equilibrium, cashed in his chips after another awful finish in the South Carolina primary.  (He did, however, finish ahead of Gov. Kasich.)

Oh, the headline above the article said: "To Grasp Walker's Power, Look at his Donors"

There are threats, and there are threats which I |never grasped.

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Still riding a mythical high is Kasich's campaign. After finishing next to last in South  Carolina, even trailing Jeb!, the governor's campaign strategist, John Weaver, whipped out an upbeat press release declaring the GOP field to be a "Four-Person"  race, excluding only Carson.  Weaver said there was a good reason to validate Kasich as a candidate  because "only four candidates have top-three finishes in the early states (alas,  Kasich finished fifth last night) and he will now be campaigning in states that favor him. Kasich has boasted that he can land an airplane.  He had better do it quickly with much of his campaign cash left behind in New Hampshire.

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P.S. I've never covered a race in which 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishes are called victories. My older metrics are no longer of use.

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